Cén scoil?

Buncsoil Cholmcille at Steelstown. One of the Irish language primary schools available to parents in Derry.
Buncsoil Cholmcille at Steelstown. One of the Irish language primary schools available to parents in Derry.

An t-am sin arís.

An tseachtain seo beidh tuismitheoirí ag cur iarratas isteach le haghaidh scoileanna ar leibhéil éagsúla. Cinneadh deacair atá ann. Tá taithí forleathan agam faoi scoileanna anseo in Éirinn agus in Albain agus caithfidh mé a rá go mbeadh sé an-doiligh na scoileanna Béarla anseo i nDoire a shárú maidir le caighdeán teagaisc agus díograis na múinteoirí. Mar sin de, ní déarfainn go húdarásach le tuismitheoir ‘Cuir do pháiste chuig Gaelscoil.’ Ba chóir do na tuismitheoirí an cheist a phlé agus cinneadh ciallmhar a dhéanamh. Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil mé claonta, ach mhaífinn go bhfuil buntáistí ag Gaelscoil nach bhfuil ag scoileanna eile. Léiríonn an suíomh idirlín gaelscoileanna.ie cuid de na buntáistí sin, cuir i gcás go n- éiríonn daltaí dátheangacha níos fearr ag tabhairt airde, go mbíonn siad níos fearr ag díriú ar thascanna, agus go mbíonn scileanna éisteachta agus cumarsáide níos éifeachtaí acu, de réir taighde. Déanann na bunscoileanna Gaeilge go han-mhaith i nDoire in ainneoin míbhuntáiste ollmhóir: tá na trí cinn acu lonnaithe i bhfoirgnimh shealadacha ach tá na tuismitheoirí ag troid go dian chun cúrsaí a athrú. Tugann tuismitheoirí lántacaíocht don naíscolaíocht sa chathair: glacann beirt as trí cinn de na naíscoileanna le huasmhéid daltaí le roinnt blianta anuas. Maidir le hiarbhunscolaíocht i nDoire, tá an insint chéanna ar an scéal: áiseanna den scoith agus múinteoirí den scoth i ngach scoil. Tá ar na tuismitheoirí scoil a bheadh ag freastal ar riachtanais a bpáistí a roghnú. Tá an t-ádh dearg ar dhaltaí atá ag staidéar i mbunscoil Ghaeilge agus ar mhaith leo dul ar aghaidh ag foghlaim tríd an Ghaeilge. Tá an sruth Gaeilge i gColáiste Bhríde ag dul ó neart go neart. Tá sé lonnaithe i bhfoirgneamh nua-aimseartha i scoil fhorásach faoi stiúir foirne a bhfuil taithí leathan aici. Dála an scéil, tá an Gaeloideachas ag teacht ar aghaidh in Inis Eoghain chomh maith. Tá Charlie McConnelogue TD ag cur brú ar an Aire Oideachais faoi láthair le naíscoil, bunscoil agus meánscoil a lonnú ar aon suíomh amháin i mBun Cranncha.

Translation

Which school?

That time again. This week parents will be putting in applications for places in different types of schools. It is a difficult decision. I have wide experience in schools both here in Ireland and in Scotland and I have to say that it would be difficult to find any better than the English medium schools here in Derry with regard to educational standards and the enthusiasm of the teachers. So I would not order a parent ‘Send your child to an Irish medium school.’ Parents should discuss the matter and come to a sensible decision. I know I am biased, but I would say that a Gaelscoil has advantages that other schools do not have. The website gaelscoileanna.ie points out some of these advantages, for example, according to research, bilingual children are more attentive, they are better at undertaking tasks, and they have more effective listening and communication skills.

Irish medium primary schools in Derry do very well despite one huge disadvantage: the three of them are accommodated in temporary buildings, although the parents are fighting hard to change that situation. Parents are very supportive of Irish nursery education in the city. Two out of the three nursery schools have taken in maximum numbers over the past few years.

The same can be said of post-primary education in Derry as has been said about primary education: first rate facilities and first rate teachers in every school. Parents must choose the school most suited to their child’s needs. Children who have been studying in an Irish medium school and who wish to continue learning through Irish are very fortunate. The Irish medium stream in Saint Brigid’s College is going from strength to strength. It is accommodated in a modern building in a progressive school under the direction of a highly experienced staff.

Incidentally, Irish medium education is also advancing in Inishowen. At present, Charlie Mc Connelogue TD is putting pressure on the Minister of Education to locate an Irish nursery school, primary school and secondary school on the one site in Buncrana.